Horse chestnut tree seed is called conkers. It's also the name given to game played between two people typically in Autumn. It used to be a tradition in England but in these days of tablets, it has definitely lost its popularity. May be someone can invent a mobile app for conkers (in fact one may be there, need to check). If you are someone who has actually played the game and knows any other versions or rules in detail, do write to me using contact us page.
As autumn approaches the conker falls from the horse chestnut tree. The green outer casing will turn brown and break apart revealing the conkers inside. Each casing can contain a number of conkers. "Oddly oddlyonker my first conker" is screamed at the sight of the first conker. This will insure good luck and few problems.
Verify it's a good conker then make it stronger
The conker should be checked by verifying it will sink. Conkers that float are either moldy or have hidden damage. Once the conker is selected it can be strengthened by soaking it in vinegar or baking it. Other tricks for improvement include freezing, applying hair spray or nail polish, and soaking in alcohol. As with any sport, conkers are now being tested so verify your strengthening technique is acceptable in competition.
Stringing the conker
Place a hole in the center of the conker. This operation must be done with care. Hacking out the center could split, creating a weak conker. Run a strong thread of about 25 centimeters through the conker.
Playing the game
The game is for two players with the object being to destroy the opponent's conker. One player will wrap the string around his hand. The striker tells the player at which height to place the conker. The conker is to remain still. The striker wraps his string around his hand. The striker releases and attempts to destroy. Three attempts are allowed.
There are three opportunities to hit the conker.
If the strings tangle the first one to yell "strings" is given an extra hit
Performing an "Around the World", which is making a complete loop with the conker, allows for an additional hit.
The conker must remain in the hand. If it is dropped or knocked the person who fumbled must yell "no stomp" before the opponent yells "stomp" and destroys the conker.
Scoring not so simple
The conker receives points based upon victories. When two new conkers duel the winner is an one'r. Should it defeat another it's a two'r. The interesting scoring aspect is that the conker scores are based upon the opponent's victories. Should the one'r defeat a conker with five previous victories he immediately becomes a six'r which is the total number of combined victories.
The potential for bruised knuckles is almost guaranteed. Practice the swing carefully to prevent injury. Eye damage can occur by shaking the tree in an effort to bring down a conker. Let the conker fall naturally. Be careful when creating the string hole. The damage could be done to the eyes through flying chips or to the hand by a slipping knife.
Conker has gone high tech
School kids no longer have to wait until September and October to play. Conker is now available for the Xbox.
The British game of conker signifies the start of the autumn season. There are no expenses involved and it can do played with two people. The rules are extremely simple.
Update: couple of visitors have informed that similar game is played in Canada, USA and Puerto Rico as well. Carob tree seeds are used in Puerto Rico instead of Horse chestnut.
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